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One more year of Red Diesel rebate - Please | BUILDING MAGAZINE

One more year of Red Diesel rebate – Please

Construction lobby groups have made an urgent plea for a temporary reprieve on red diesel tax rebate. It is only a week until the chancellor of the exchequer delivers his spring budget, and only two weeks until the loss of the red diesel tax rebate.

After the 1st April only circuses, golf courses, boatyards and agriculture will be able to use the subsidised fuel.

Following the past two difficult years, partly due to the Pandemic, the construction industry feels that the development of other power solutions has been affected. And, of course, with the invasion of Ukraine the price of diesel has reached an all time high. The construction industry are asking if they can be allowed to use red diesel after the 1st April for just one more year.

Chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), Richard Beresford, said: “With the development of electric plant machinery and alternative fuels delayed by Covid-19 lockdowns it is felt that it was already going to be difficult to move from red diesel, but with the 190% increase on pre-pandemic fuel prices it makes it more than difficult for many businesses”.

“The government had direct control over duties, unlike the production of energy, and could act with urgency to save British businesses from this tax that it is imposing on those who worked during lockdown, and therefore did not use furlough. If the government decides not to act, consumers must be prepared for construction costs and home prices to rise, food to get more expensive, businesses will be forced to pass higher heating costs on to consumers and millions of jobs will be in jeopardy”.

Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Brian Berry said: “Following these unprecedented global events, this is the worst possible time to add yet more financial pressure on small builders with the end of the red diesel rebate. The FMB supports wholeheartedly the move to greener alternatives to diesel for use by the construction sector, but progress towards these has been too slow and to end the rebate at this time risks the ability to survive of local community-based builders who have already been hit by 18 months of spiralling product prices”.

Chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Alasdair Reisner, said: “It is imperative that as an industry we play our part in removing carbon from our sector, and we support government policies put in place to achieve this. The situation, however, in Ukraine is a game changer in terms of the immediate impact on our sector. There is a significant risk to planned projects with fuel prices making them unaffordable. A delay in the implementation of this red diesel rebate removed would give urgently needed breathing space for industry while still striving to elimate diesel from sites in the longer term”.